December 2021 Meeting Minutes

Cayuga Bird Club

Monthly Meeting via Zoom

December 13, 2021

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Attendance: 42


Presentation by Dr. Jay Falk, "Females that look like males: Unraveling a hummingbird mystery."


Next month's webinar: Share Your Photos Night, Monday, January 10, 2021 (second monday of month).
Send 5 photos by January 5 (Wed) to Kevin McGowan (
kjm2@cornell.edu).
If your photos aren’t great, that’s okay; great stories are also enjoyed!
Photo sharing by members only, but meeting open to all.


Lab of Ornithology holiday notes:
Beginner Bird Walks: Every Saturday, 8:30am-10:00am even on Christmas and New Year’s Day!
Visitor Center open 10am-4pm, closed Friday, Dec 24 to Sunday, Jan 2.
Wild Birds Unlimited now open, will be closed January for renovations.


Christmas Bird Count, Saturday, January 1, 2022.
Contact Joshua Snodgrass if you want to participate cedarshiva@gmail.com

Compilation Gathering will be by Zoom again due to high COVID numbers, on Monday, January 3, 2022, 7:30pm.
Register: https://tinyurl.com/ithacacbc2022


Proposal: Two Amendments to Bylaws.

Procedure: Last Month, we presented and discussed the proposals. In the December Newsletter, we published the final proposal. Today: members vote.

Proposed Bylaw Amendment 1 (Change Budget Date):

The Treasurer, in coordination with the President, will prepare an annual budget. The budget will provide an estimate of annual revenues from all sources as well as all project and operating expenses anticipated during the next fiscal year.

Old: The budget will be reviewed by the Executive Committee and presented with recommendations to the membership at the September meeting. The membership will vote to approve or disapprove the budget at the October annual meeting.

New: The budget will be reviewed by the Executive Committee and presented with recommendations to the membership in the club’s newsletter. The membership will vote to approve or disapprove the budget at or before the September meeting.

Proposed Bylaw Amendment 2 (Allowing club to Pay Members)

Old: No Officer, Director, or member of the corporation may receive any pecuniary profit from its operations or upon its dissolution, except compensation for expenses incurred for services rendered in effecting one or more of its purposes.

New: No Officer, Director, or member of the corporation may receive any pecuniary profit from its operations or upon its dissolution, except reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred or payment for services rendered in effecting one or more of its purposes.

Vote to approve the Two Proposed Amendments.
Donna Scott Moved Motion, Diane Morton seconded.
Vote passed unanimously (22-0).


Proposed Expenditure: Reprint the popular guide book "Birding the Cayuga Lake Basin", published in 2012.
We only have 16 copies in stock (of ~1700 copies printed).
We plan to revise for a second edition, but this will take time.
In the interim, we propose to reprint 100 copies at $15 apiece (total $1500).
We propose to stick with the same wholesale price of $14.40, so would be selling at a loss.
Number of copies sold last three years are 58, 42, 103; so we expect to sell most of this printing;
i.e., we expect to recover $600-$1440 of cost, with a potential loss of $60-900.

Donna Scott Moved to Discuss, Bob McGuire Seconded.

Question: Why not raise the wholesale price?
Answer: We think it's simpler to keep the same rate for our resellers (Ithaca Agway, Wild Birds Unlimited, MNWR Visitor Center and MAC). We also don't feel it fair to charge more for the same book. Also, past sales have netted us several thousand dollars, so the loss here should be viewed against the overall gain.

Vote: Proposal passed unanimously (22-0).


Bard and Gina Prentiss.

Bard Prentiss recently passed away, followed soon after by his wife Gina, both at age 82.
Bard was Cayuga Bird Club President from 1996-98 and Director from 2005-08.

Kevin described Bard as a stalwart member of CBC and a vibrant part of the birding community. Bard was a local birder and figure. He was the nicest person. He was an avid outdoorsman despite his disability. He was a bow and rifle hunter. He was an art teacher at Cortland State University. He called himself Bird Hard Bard. He was a great mentor for younger kids. Bard took homeschoolers birding. He also knew orchids and bogs. He was a great wood worker. He gave a tremendous amount to the local birding community. He was concerned about the bird habitat. He was the coordinator and art director for 2nd Breeding Bird Atlas.

How can we, as a club, honor him? We discussed a bench and plaque dedicated to him on the Dryden Rail Trail, which was an important place to Bard.


Spring Ornithology with Steve Kress 2022
Thursdays, March 31- May 19 (8 weeks) 7:00pm-9:00pm
Open for registration cayugabirdclub.org/spring-ornithology
Great Gift for the Holidays for your loved ones!


Field Trip Reports

Nov 28 (Sun): Lake Ontario (Bob McGuire) Very successful Trip. 7 People. Good variety, but not many. Saw a beautiful red fox.

Dec 5 (Sun): A Morning at Stewart Park (Suan Yong) Walked near the lake, into the woods and around the swan pen. At the boat house balcony there was a great view and many birds appeared. Winter Wren. Carolina Wren. Mockingbird, many Woodpeckers, Bluebirds.

Dec 12 (Sun): Short-Eared Owls (Josh Snodgrass) Very successful. Started at Taughannock, one Gull, one Goldfinch. Heading north towards Sheldrake, saw Goldeneye, Kingfisher, Bald Eagle. Then inland to Fingerlakes Airports saw 3 Snowy Owls. South near Lodi, round sunset saw 3-4 Short Eared Owls.


“Our” Motus Birds in Central America!
Two birds detected at Myers in September were subsequently detected in Central America.

Tennessee Warbler "checked in" at the following sites:
- Montreal
- Myers Park
- Florida (Tampa)
- Costa Rica (Veragua Rainforest)
This (our bird) was their first detection, which they excitedly announced on their Facebook page.

Swainson’s Thrush "checked in" at the following sites:
- Montreal
- New York: three stations (Tug Hill, Three Rivers, Myers Park)
- WV/VA border (near Roanoake)
- South Carolina (near Augusta GA)
- Panama (Sewage Plant)


Bell Station Update:
FLLT has acquired Bell Station from NYSEG.
Next step: FLLT will transfer western portion (lakeshore) to DEC as Wildlife Management Area.
Eastern portion (fields) potentially used for a solar farm, but details TBD with the Town of Lansing.
Looking to raise $500k for purchase, donate at fllt.org
In the comment area, write that you want your donation to go towards the Bell Station.

Donna suggests we begin the proposal process to have CBC donate $1,000 to FLLT for this purchase.


Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
Wildlife Drive is Closed for the season. Reopens around April 1.

Places to Bird in Montezuma Area:
- Visitor Center Pool: Cranes have been here
- Knox-Marsellus: Cranes have been here
- Armitage Road: Cranes have been here
- Mud Lock, Cayuga Lake
- Airport: for owls


Conservation Action Committee
Ithaca Plans to Decarbonize Buildings by 2030
Luis Aguirre-Torres, Ithaca Sustainability Coordinator
Possible inclusion:
- Turn off unnecessary lights
- Bird-friendly glass

Let your elected officials know.
Contact Jody Enck (jwe4@cornell.edu) to help out!


Bob McGuire planning walks for January and February.

Keep eyes on CBC website


Open Floor


Chat